The majority of patients in the US support the use of home medical devices to manage and improve their chronic conditions, according to a survey conducted by GfK Roper for Practice Fusion, the free, web-based Electronic Health Record (EHR) company.

The Practice Fusion home medical device study was conducted via GfK’s telephone omnibus ‘OmniTel’ survey on 19-21 November 2010.

The GfK Omnibus survey, a weekly national CATI phone survey of US households, was conducted from among a nationally representative sample of 1,008 adults age 18 or older.

The survey found that interest in doctors monitoring patient health using remote medical devices was equally high for respondents with and without chronic conditions.

Key survey findings among those with one or more chronic condition – 62% said communication with their doctor using home medical devices would improve their health; up to 57% respondents between the ages of 25 and 49 had were interested in home medical devices.

Just 35% age 65+ were interested in home medical devices technology. Ninety percent of Americans age 65 or older are living with some form of chronic illness (CDC).

Men with chronic conditions were more interested in home monitoring devices (52%) than women (41%)

Respondents with and without chronic conditions were virtually equal in their interest in home medical devices.

Interest in these devices tended to decrease with age: 48% for those age 25-34 down to 34% for those age 65+.

Practice Fusion CEO Ryan Howard said home medical devices can save the healthcare system money and also enable patients to live more independently while managing their chronic conditions.

"EHR systems are a key connection for linking these devices to patients and physicians. Practice Fusion is focusing our API development on medical devices for the start of 2011. Our innovation will help give patients the power to manage their own health and physicians to prescribe devices in a meaningful way," Howard said.

Practice Fusion provides a free, web-based Electronic Health Record (EHR) system to physicians. With charting, scheduling, e-prescribing, billing, lab integrations, referral letters and a Personal Health Record for patients, Practice Fusion’s EHR addresses the complex needs of healthcare providers.